Overview of the Second Speech: HSPDP


The second speaker refutes the opposing case while rebuilding their own. This article outlines over the role of the second speaker, including basic information, timing and tips.


The role of the second speaker is to extend your team’s case and refute the other side. In practice, it is often one of the more fluid positions. This is an excellent position for people who like refutations and are quite organized. Ideally, the second speaker will refute and rebuild enough on the more detailed line-by-line aspect that the rebuttalist will be able to focus on the big picture.


Here are some general tips before we get into the specifics of the speech.

  • Really hammer in if a team dropped an argument, meaning they didn’t respond to it. Make sure you don’t just say they dropped it! Emphasize why it’s important. (It shows they have no response to your case, undermines their argument, etc.)

  • With that in mind, do not drop anything. Even if it is a short response, make sure you cover every single one of your opponent’s arguments.

  • Make sure to focus on giving a rhetorically strong speech. It can get easy to be bogged down in the line-by line refutations, but if the judge isn’t paying attention it doesn’t matter. Good eye contact, proper diction and the ever-elusive “passion” are all great strategies.

Second Prop


This speech is quite similar to the first Opp, except you spend more time on your case. Since you are the last Prop speaker before the Opp block, it is really important that you don’t drop anything. Generally, you will refute, counter-refute and then present your team's final argument. That means going through each of your opponent’s arguments and providing a reason why it’s wrong, responding to their refutations to your arguments (proving that yours still stand) and finally introducing your third point. Some teams choose not to run a 3rd or 4th argument, or place it in the 1st Prop, in which case you can focus on more in-depth rebuilding or refutations.


Here is a common way of allocating your six-minute speech. (Please know every speaker is different.)

-0:00 - 0:15 Hook

-0:15-0:30 Roadmap

-0:30-1:15 refute Opp point I

-1:15-2:00 refute Opp point II

-2:00-2:45 refute Opp point III

-2:45-3:15 POI

-3:15-3:45 seconds counter-refute their response to your Prop Point I

-3:45-4:15 seconds counter-refute their response to your Prop Point II

-4:15-5:45 introduce 3rd argument

-5:45-6:00 second conclusion

Second Opp


This speech is part of the “Opp bloc,” in which Opp has two speeches in a row, totaling 10 minutes. It’s important to communicate with your third speaker what each of you should cover. Ideally, you will get through all of the line-by-line and detailed argumentation so the rebuttalist can focus on voter issues and impact calculus. Typically, people do not introduce a third point in the Opp speech since it only gives Prop one speech to respond and can be considered unfair by some judges. Thus you spend about half of your speech refuting and the other half rebuilding. Refutations can start to get more broad than a simple line-by-line. If you felt your 1st Opp was able to respond effectively to all of Prop’s points, you can do something called clash weighing. That means you group arguments together based on overall points of clash. Oftentimes your arguments will either be directly contradicting each other (This will cost/save money) or represent two opposing values (freedom/security is more important). You can incorporate these arguments together to synthesize your speech. Make sure to reference which articles you are talking about though!

Here is a common way of allocating your six-minute speech (Please know every speaker is different)

-0:00 - 0:15 Hook

-0:15-0:30 Roadmap

-0:30-2:00 Clash Point 1

-2:00-3:30 Clash Point 2

-3:30-4:00 second POI

-4:00-5:30 Clash Point 3

-5:30-6:00 second conclusion (hopefully rooted in a bit of impact calculus in a rhetorical style).


For more information on the content discussed, please visit our HSPDP resource page!